Buchteln are sweet yeast rolls that originated from Austria and are characterized by their light and airy texture. These buttery and sweet rolls are served with vanilla custard sauce but they are often filled with apricot jam in the center.
When I was still single, one of my goals listed in my journal was “to travel alone“. I often fantasize eating alone in a bakeshop in a foreign country, savoring native pastries and tasting lots of sweets. Exploring pastries from another country is one exciting aspect of travelling.
I’d imagine myself reading a book while munching on a croissant or a Danish; Or riding a train with a bread on my hand or something like that. You get the picture, right?
But then, lets fast forward it. I am now married to a perfect- for- me man, I have three kids and my goal of travelling alone never materialized.
These days, I travel thru cookbooks, food blogs and food magazines. You know, if the only reason why I wanted to travel alone then was to eat, then I will bake and eat whatever I want right here at home.
Such is the case when I baked this Greek Bread. That elegant, stunning bread that made the house smell so good was a hit. And today, these Buchteln, these soft and fluffy little buns caught my interest.
What is Buchteln?
- Buchteln ( pronounced as boogh-teln, according to the web) is a pastry that has originated from Austria. They are often filled with apricot jam or served with vanilla custard sauce which is what we will do now.
- They are rich, soft and airy little buns baked together in a cake pan, have lovely golden tops and a taste and texture like a brioche but lighter.
Now let me tell you straight here, I have not had Buchteln in my life. But with this recipe being from the genius baker Rose Levy Berenbaum, I am more than assured that her meticulously written recipe and her utmost passion for pastries will take my tastebuds to the real thing.
Actually, whether they taste authentic or not, it does not matter at all. The buns came out and tasted exactly as how she has described them- lighter than a brioche, soft, fluffy and airy. These buchteln are such a delight!
Both my daughters loved these, especially with the custard sauce. I guess the cute size plus their softness were a big factor why they munched one after another of these goodies. The same afternoon after I baked these, my words to my eldest are like “You want more Buchteln?”.
“You like those Buchteln, huh?” “One more Buchteln?”
And she was like,
“One more, Buchteln mom.” ” Why you never made these buchteln before?”
“One last piece for me, mom”
We definitely mis-pronounced buchteln for 50 times that day.
Then they are gone overnight. Would I make them again? You bet! Let’s make them now, shall we?
How to Make Buchteln?
First, proof the yeast. In a small bowl, combine yeast, powdered sugar and 2 tbsp of the warm milk. Stir and let stand for 20 minutes. It should be bubbly and frothy.
Then, make the dough. In a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs and stir using a wooden spoon. Add the remaining milk ( re-heat milk in the microwave if its already cold instead of warm). Add in the yeast mixture and about 1/4 cup of the flour. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Set this aside for about 2-3 minutes.
Add remaining flour and salt and stir everything using a wooden spoon for about seven minutes or so, until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Dough will be very thick and sticky. Now add 2 tbsp of melted, warm butter and stir it into the dough until it is smoother, softer and more shiny, about 5 minutes.
(From left to right) Buchteln starts out to be a very sticky and thick dough. You will mix it using a wooden spoon, or your hands to yield a smooth and shiny dough. The addition of melted butter is such a relief from the stickiness, as you will soon see your dough becomes softer, shinier and smoother.
Let the Dough Rise, then chill it in the fridge. Let dough rise in a bowl, covered with plastic, for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. Deflate the dough by kneading gently, then refrigerate for one hour.
Shape, let rise and bake!
Deflate and knead again, divide into 28 portions and shape each to a ball that is about a tablespoon in size.
Coat each ball with melted butter and place on a 9 inch cake pan. Let rise again for 1 and 1/2 hours and bake for 400 F for 5 minutes, then at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top and serve with the custard sauce.
For the Buchteln
- 1 and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup milk Heat in the microwave so that temperature is 110 F
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 5 tbsp egg beat two eggs, then measure out 5 tbsp
- 2 cups all purpose flour scoop and level method
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Vanilla Custard Sauce
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Proof the yeast
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, powdered sugar and 2 tbsp of the warm milk. Stir and let stand for 20 minutes. It should be bubbly and frothy.
Make the dough
- In a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs and stir using a wooden spoon. Add the remaining milk ( re-heat milk in the microwave if its already cold instead of warm). Add in the yeast mixture and about 1/4 cup of the flour. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Set this aside for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add remaining flour and salt and stir everything using a wooden spoon for about seven minutes or so, until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Dough will be very thick and sticky. Now add 2 tbsp of melted, warm butter and stir it into the dough until it is smoother, softer and more shiny, about 5 minutes.
Rising and Shaping of Dough
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours until size is doubled.
- Gently knead the dough on a clean surface for a few times just to deflate it. Put it back in the bowl, cover with plastic and let it rest for 1 hour (or up to 2 days) in the refrigerator.
- After chilling, knead the dough to deflate it. Divide dough to 28 portions, about a tablespoon size each. Re-melt or re-heat remaining butter if it has started to harden and cool. Roll each portion of dough into a small ball and dip into the butter, coating all sides. Place each ball in a greased 9 inch cake pan. Cover dough loosely with a buttered piece of plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 and 1/2 hours.
- Set the oven rack on the lowest position. Preheat oven to 425 F. If you are using a dark cake pan, pre-heat to 400 F. Position the pan on top of a baking sheet and place on the lowest oven rack. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower to 375 F and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are nicely golden and a toothpick inserted at the middle of a bun comes out clean. Let cool and serve with vanilla sauce, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Make the Vanilla Custard Sauce
- Stir together egg yolks, salt and sugar in a medium saucepan. Mix well until blended. Scald the milk using the microwave and slowly add about 2 tbsp of milk to the yolk mixture while stirring. Add the remaining milk while stirring continuously and heat the mixture just before its boiling point. It will be thick and steamy, and it should coat the back of the spoon. Strain the mixture in a fine strainer over a medium bowl and scrape until all the thickened cream on the base of the saucepan are collected. Let this cool in the fridge then stir in the vanilla. Store leftover sauce in the refrigerator.